More than 300 maps divided into 21 chronologically arranged parts cover the history of the U.S. from the formation of the North American continent to the September 11, 2001, attacks. There are special sections for presidential elections and territorial growth. The maps are in color and are generally easy to read. They include the expected maps of territorial changes and military campaigns but also include some more unusual additions, such as Harlem during the period of the Harlem Renaissance, Hollywood movie studios in 1919, and Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001.
Overall, this atlas is a useful companion to the study of American history. Unfortunately, it is marred by mistakes that could have been avoided with more careful editing. For example, on the map "The Fate of Empire Loyalists, 1776-92," the king of England is identified as James III rather than George III. On "Civil Aviation, 1918-30," the beginning date for air service to Havana, Haiti, and Venezuela is given as 1839. On "New European States Emerge, 1991-93," the Estonian islands of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa are given a different color from the rest of the country. The Eastern Shore of Virginia is often not delineated or is given the wrong color. The Canadian Manitoulin Island is sometimes mistakenly shown as U.S. territory. These mistakes and others detract from an otherwise useful source.
There is no shortage of good, if older, atlases of American history. The excellent Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States (Greenwood, 1975) is a reliable source. Newer sources, such as Atlas of American History (Facts On File, 1993), also give good service. If the many errors are corrected, Historical Atlas of the United States will be an extremely valued addition to reference collections. Even with the errors, most of the information is accurate. The currency and unique content make it worth considering, and it is recommended with reservations for public and academic libraries. RBB
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Chapter introductions are well written.... The cartography...clearly depicts the subject matter.... The atlas is balanced and comprehensive in coverage.... Recommended. General readers and undergraduates.Choice, June 2003
A useful companion.... [with] currency and unique content.Booklist/RBB, June 2003Well conceived
as an historical reference resource.... An excellent resource for many projects
.... I would strongly recommend
the Historical Atlas of the United States
for college and university libraries and historians.Western Association of Map Libraries Information Bulletin, March 2004